March 2005

Cover Story

Course correction

It's 4:30 a.m. and Paulita LaPlante is wide awake. She hops onto her home computer and notices Terry Duesterhoeft, her vice president of sales and marketing, is also online.

They instant message each other, share a few witty comments, and start brainstorming ideas for the company they run, Eden Prairie-based Vasamed, which develops low-cost, non-invasive monitoring systems for vascular and cardiovascular health. Continue reading →

Letter From the Editor


Would you join a company that raised nearly $70 million while it was posting only $800,000 in annual revenue?

Would you accept the job of chief financial officer after it had burned through all that cash except for $6 million?

Would you believe a turnaround was possible if it was losing $2 1/2 million a quarter? Continue reading →

Back Page

Back page

Mike Carrel, who was CEO and president of Zamba Solutions Corp. in Minneapolis, closed Dec. 29 its $6-million sale to Technology Solutions Co. of Chicago. The success ended a ride at a company that "should have been dead 40 times over," as a lead investor once put it. Carrel tells why he had to see it through. Continue reading →


Q&A: Business citizen

Teresa Lynch joined in January Dorsey & Whitney, the Minneapolis law firm, as legislative affairs director, where she lobbies on behalf of corporate clients at the Legislature. Before that she was chief lobbyist for AT&T. Despite her powerful credentials, she doesn't believe that only the state's biggest firms can make their voices heard. A former state legislator, Lynch encourages small-business owners to get involved with the law-making process. Continue reading →

Hair extensions

Most people bring little else than their shaggy manes to the barber's. But at Dick's Sports Barbers, customers over the years have brought their high school jerseys, autographed team portraits and snapshots of personal athletic achievements. Continue reading →

Playing defense

For a brief moment, Rick Schaffer wondered if his business would survive.

"We never really expected anything like this to happen and it really isn't something that a small business prepares itself for," he says. Continue reading →

Business Builders


Many businesses and individuals give to charity each year, but few have implemented a charitable giving plan. You may want to do this as part of your business and personal financial plan. Continue reading →

Intellectual property

business builder intellectual property   Here’s how to protect trademarks, names on the Internet by Kyle Peterson   With the rise of the Internet as a medium for generating significant revenue, deceitful competitors have pirated and misused protected trademarks in novel and occasionally shrewd ways to gain an unfair advantage over the competition. Common forms of […] Continue reading →

Thinking about an IPO? Consider seven steps first.

In recent months, the moribund IPO market has shown signs of life. Your company may be considering an initial public offering. Before contacting an investment bank, you should first consider the preliminary requirements described in this article. They will help you assess whether your company is ready for an IPO. Continue reading →

Human resources

The last few years have been challenging for most small-business owners. Cash flow has been tight while fixed costs such as health insurance and rent have continued to rise. Continue reading →



Just days from his 30th birthday in January, Andy Dahl left his day job at a biotech research lab to pursue his new venture: producing a TV show called "Andy's Surprisingly Wild Minnesota." Continue reading →


At the Groveland Tap in St. Paul, they switched to smoke-free in advance of the new smoking ban that goes into effect this month.

?We went non-smoking there on the 1st of January, to try and garner some press and some customer reaction,? says David Burley, CEO of Blue Plate Restaurant Co. in St. Paul and a part owner. Continue reading →


In January Doug Bonestroo was almost three months into the search for a new owner for RemotePipes, the company that sells on-the-cheap access to the Internet from remote locations. Continue reading →


For 100 years Wagner Greenhouses, with two locations in Hugo and Minneapolis, closed its retail garden center each year after New Year's through early April. This year it's changing the tradition and staying open all winter in Minneapolis. Continue reading →

Health care

Donna Block has started Clinic Sofia, just around the corner from her old workplace in the Southdale Medical Building, so she can spend those years taking care of women's health the way she wants to. Continue reading →


Architects, builders and others in the design business should watch out for architectural copyright lawsuits, a type of intellectual property claim that?s on the rise.

So says Holly Newman, an attorney with Mackall, Crounse & Moore in Minneapolis. Continue reading →